Lupe Vélez in Mexican Spitfire (1940)
|Born||María Guadalupe Villalobos Vélez
July 18, 1908
San Luis Potosí, Mexico
|Died||December 13, 1944
Glendale, California, U.S.
Cause of death
|Panteón de Dolores, México City|
|Other names||The Mexican Spitfire
The Hot Pepper
|Spouse(s)||Johnny Weissmuller (1933–1939)|
Vélez began her career in Mexico as a dancer in vaudeville, before moving to the U.S. Vélez soon entered films, making her first appearance in 1927 in the film The Gaucho. By the end of the decade she had progressed to leading roles and was one of the first Mexican actresses to succeed in Hollywood. 
She worked with film directors like D.W. Griffith, Cecil B. DeMille, Victor Fleming and William Wyler among others. With the arrival of talkies, Vélez's career took a turn towards comedy. Her characterization of the temperamental, explosive, rebellious and irreverent Latina woman gave her enormous popularity. She enjoyed popularity among Hispanic audiences and also made some films in Mexico. Some of her most memorable films are Lady of the Pavements (1928), The Wolf Song (1929), Palooka (1933), Laughing Boy (1934), Hollywood Party (1934) and the series of films created especially for her: Mexican Spitfire, in the early 1940s. She is associated with the nicknames "The Mexican Spitfire" and "The Hot Pepper".
Vélez's personal life was often difficult; a five-year marriage to Johnny Weissmuller and a series of romances with figures like Gary Cooper, were highly publicized. Her premature death from suicide, and the mysterious circumstances in which this occurred, made her an urban legend of the Hollywood industry.
Vélez was born María Guadalupe Villalobos Vélez in the city of San Luis Potosí in Mexico, the daughter of Jacobo Villalobos Reyes, a colonel in the armed forces of the dictator Porfirio Diaz, and his wife Josefina Vélez Gomez, an opera singer according to some sources, or vaudeville singer according to others. She had four younger siblings: Mercedes, Josefina, Reina and Emigdio. Because of her impulsive and aggressive behavior towards her classmates, when she was 13 years old, her parents sent her to study at Our Lady of the Lake (now Our Lady of the Lake University) in San Antonio, Texas. This was where she learned to speak English.
After her 15th birthday and her father going missing in the Mexican Revolution, Vélez left the convent and moved with her family to Mexico City. In order to support her family, she worked in a warehouse as a clerk earning four dollars a week.
Lupe and her sister Josefina were presented by her mother with the popular star of the Mexican Revue Theatre María Conesa "La Gatita Blanca" requesting an opportunity in her shows. Conesa gave them a chance to sing and dance the shimmy Oh Charley, My Boy in the middle of one of her shows in the Teatro Principal of Mexico City. For Velez, Conesa was the biggest star. In 1924, Aurelio Campos, a young pianist and friend of Vélez sisters, recommended Lupe with the stage producers Carlos Ortega and Manuel Castro Padilla, who were preparing a season revue at the Regis Theatre. They gave her his first opportunity in the company in March 1925. Initially, she was rejected by other more experienced vedettes because of her youth, specially with the popular Mexican vedettes Celia Montalvan and Delia Magaña, with whom she starred in some conflicts in public. In the same year (1925) the show Bataclan arrived from Paris, commanded by Madame Rasimí, and caused a sensation in the Esperanza Iris Theater. Given this presumption, the entrepreneurs fought back with two parodies: Mexican Rataplan and ¡No lo tapes!, starring by Vélez. Lupe Vélez caused furor; besides singing and dancing with suggestive and provocative pelvis movements, she appeared wrapped in rhinestones and feathers while singing songs full of mischief. Very young, and more famous that her rivals, Lupe (who because of her youth was called La Niña Lupe) soon established herself as one of the main stars of de vaudeville in Mexico. Among her admirers were poets as Jose Gorostiza and Renato Leduc.
A family friend, Frank Woodward, recommended Vélez to actor Richard Bennett (the father of the actresses Joan and Constance Bennett), who was well known in the American theater. He needed a young woman with the characteristics of Vélez for the stage play The Dove. Vélez came to Los Angeles, but did not get the part.
In California, she met the comedian Fanny Brice. Brice said she had never met a more fascinating personality that Velez. Brice promoted her career as a dancer and who recommended her to Florence Ziegfeld in New York. When Lupe was about to move to New York for a stage play, she received a call from Harry Rapf, an official of the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, who offered her a screen test. Hal Roach, producer and director of Pathé Pictures, saw the Vélez tests and hired her a role in the short film Sailors, Beware! with Oliver Hardy and Stan Laurel.
After her debut in the short film Sailors, Beware!, Vélez appeared in another short film with Hal Roach, What Women Did for Me, in 1927. One day that year, a talent scout brought Lupe and her Chihuahua to meet powerful movie star Douglas Fairbanks in order to win a role in his elaborate new film, The Gaucho, which was to be shot in black and white with some sequences in color. At first, Fairbanks thought Lupe too languid for the vivacious part. During the interview, a stagehand "stole" her dog as a prank. When Velez, barely five feet tall, discovered this, she beat the man mercilessly. Impressed, Douglas hired Lupe and gave her a five-year contract at his studio, United Artists.
The next year (1928) she was named one of the WAMPAS Baby Stars. The Hollywood entertainment columnists, christened with nicknames like The Mexican Panther, Miss Hot Tamale or Miss Chile Picante, phrases all about the personality of Vélez on the screen. Most of her early films cast her in exotic or ethnic roles (Latina, Native American, French, Russian, and Asian).
Soon after the release of The Gaucho, Vélez made her second major film, Stand and Deliver (1928) for the Cecil B. DeMille division of Pathé Pictures. She showed a great talent as a comedienne. Her next film, Lady of the Pavements (1929), was directed by D. W. Griffith. The Irving Berlin song Where Is the Song of Songs for Me is nicely sung by Velez and makes for a nice theme throughout the film. Eventually, she appeared in Where East is East (1929), playing a young Chinese woman. She later appeared in The Wolf Song (1929), directed by Victor Fleming, opposite Gary Cooper. She earned $14,000 whilst Cooper earned $2,750.
Vélez made her first all-talking picture, Tiger Rose in 1929. With the arrival of the talkies, Vélez appeared in a series of Pre-Code movies like Hell Harbor (directed by Henry King), The Storm (directed by William Wyler), and the crime drama East is West with Edward G. Robinson (1930). In 1931 she worked with Cecil B. DeMille in the film Squaw Man. Another Vélez's notable work was in Resurrection, directed by Edwin Carewe.
In 1932, Vélez filmed The Cuban Love Song (1931), with Lawrence Tibbett. In the same year she filmed Kongo (a second version of West of Zanzibar), with Walter Huston, and The Broken Wing. She also starred in Spanish-language versions of some of her movies produced by the Universal Studios like Resurrección (1931, Spanish version of Resurrection), and Hombres de mi vida (1932, Spanish version of Cuban Love Song).
Vélez soon found her niche in comedy, playing beautiful but volatile characters. In 1933, she appeared in The Half-Naked Truth with Lee Tracy and Hot Pepper, with Victor McLaglen and Edmund Lowe. In 1934 she filmed Palooka and Strictly Dynamite (both with Jimmy Durante). That same year, Vélez filmed Laughing Boy with Ramón Novarro. Despite both Vélez and Novarro's popularity, the film was a failure. Her battle with Laurel and Hardy in the film Hollywood Party is another of the typical enthusiastic Vélez performances.
Although Vélez was a popular actress, RKO Pictures did not renew her contract in 1934. Over the next few years, Vélez traveled from studio to studio; she also spent two years in England making films. In England she filmed The Morals of Marcus and Gypsy Melody (1936).
Vélez was now nearing 30 and had not become a major star. Disappointed, she left Hollywood for Broadway. The first musical in which she acted was Hot-Cha! presented at the famous Ziegfeld Theatre in 1932 and had 119 performances. It is the last work that Florenz Ziegfeld produced; he died in July of that year. In this musical revue Vélez sings several songs with Jack Whitney and choirs. The second raid of Lupe Velez on Broadway was with Jimmy Durante in the musical revue Strike Me Pink, which was presented at the Majestic Theatre in 1933. Her final appearance on Broadway was in 1938 in the musical You Never Know by Cole Porter, which was a failure. On February 5, 1938 The Pittsburgh Press broke the news that You Never Know would be presented at the Nixon Theatre in 1938.
Lupe Velez returned to Hollywood in 1937 to take part in the comedy Stardust. She also appeared in the final part of the Wheeler & Woolsey comedy High Flyers (1937). Her impersonations of Simone Simon, Dolores del Rio and Shirley Temple caused sensation in the audiences.
She enjoyed immense popularity among the Hispanic audiences. She entered into Mexican films in 1938, starring in La Zandunga (1938), directed by Fernando de Fuentes, with the popular Mexican actor Arturo de Córdova.
In 1939 she snared the lead in a B-comedy for RKO Radio Pictures, The Girl from Mexico. She established such a rapport with co-star Leon Errol that RKO made a quick sequel, Mexican Spitfire, which became a very popular series. Vélez perfected her comic character Carmelita Lindsey, a temperamental and friendly Mexican singer married to an elegant American gentleman. Her character was famous by her English with a strong Mexican accent, funny occurrences, sudden bursts of anger and bad words in Spanish. She also sang in these films. Vélez enjoyed making these films and can be seen openly breaking up at Leon Errol's comic ad libs.
The Spitfire films rejuvenated Vélez's career, and for the next few years she starred in a total of six more Mexican Spitfire films. In addition to the Spitfire films, she appeared in a series of musical and comedy features for RKO, Universal Pictures, and Columbia Pictures Some of these films were: Redhead from Manhattan, Six Lessons from Madame La Zonga and Playmates opposite John Barrymore.
In 1944, she returned to Mexican films starring in an adaptation of Émile Zola's novel Nana, which was well received. Vélez career during her early thirties suffered from too many exotic, two-dimensional roles designed with Hollywood's clichéd ideas of ethnic minorities in mind. In the late thirties the Latin temperament was no longer fashionable. Once these characters and films proved useless to Dolores del Río, she moved back to Mexico in 1943 and to more appropriate roles. Vélez apparently planned a similar move in 1944, but she was overwhelmed by the difficulties of her personal life.
In her career in Hollywood, Vélez consciously chose and groomed her image as Whoopee Lupe. With her proclamation I'm not wild. I'm just Lupe, Vélez developed a public reputation as The Hot Baby of Hollywood, and found herself in roles portraying "half-castes" and exotic characters. In contrast, magazines, newspapers and gossip columnists placed fellow Mexican actress Dolores del Río upon a pedestal, extolling her beauty and character. While Dolores del Rio was refined and educated, Vélez was blunt: she said what came to mind, and did not care how it looked socially. Lupe always showed a strong hostility to Dolores del Río. When she was with her, Lupe acted in a manner that was racy and aggressive. She accused her of being a snob and of malinchism. Vélez also hated to meet del Rio, because she said that del Rio was a "bird of bad omen". Velez was a few years younger, and her Mexican beauty, though less classical, was not less than that of Dolores; her beauty was even more explosive, more vibrant.
Velez was a prototype for contemporary female stars who have proclaimed their pleasure in their bodies and their sexual liberation. Unlike other contemporary female clowns such as Winnie Lightner or Charlotte Greenwood, Velez did not position herself as a spectacle of "failed femininity," nor did she construct her image as grotesque, graceless and gawky. Rather, she flaunted her sexual attractiveness as central to her comic persona. She was rendered funny because of an excess of sexual energy, not because of a lack of physical attractiveness. Velez emphatically refused to conform to the norms of decorum associated with the Hollywood system.
"Glamour girls" took a beating through her performances, as well. Velez was notorious for standing up at Hollywood parties and launching into vicious parodies of other screen actresses, especially those she regarded as rivals (such as Dolores del Río), or those she felt had "stolen" one of "her men." During the short season of the Broadway musical You Never Know, Vélez had a strong rivalry with Libby Holman and Vélez hit her in the face once, leaving her a black eye. When she suspected Gary Cooper of having an affair with Marlene Dietrich during the filming of Morocco, she staged an outrageously off-color and grotesque impersonation of her. Vélez once said, "If I had the chance, I would tear the eyes of Marlene Dietrich!" Another of her celebrated imitations include Gloria Swanson, Fanny Brice and Katharine Hepburn.
To what do I attribute my success? I think, simply, I'm different. I'm not beautiful, but I have lovely eyes and I know exactly what to do with them. Even though the public thinks I'm a pretty wild girl, I'm really not. I'm just me, Lupe Vélez, a simple and natural Lupe. If I'm happy, I dance and sing and act like a puppy without a care. And if something angers me, I scream, and sob, and I feel a little better. Someone named that "personality". Personality is nothing more than being to other people what you are to yourself. If I tried to look and act like Norma Talmadge, the great dramatic actress, or like gorgeous Corinne Griffith, movie's aristocrat, or like Mary Pickford, sweet and gentle Mary, I would be nothing more than an imitation. That's why I only want to be me, Lupe Vélez.
Lupe loved many men, and had no qualms about expressing that fact. Her first widely publicized love affair was with John Gilbert. She also had affairs with Clark Gable, Charlie Chaplin, Erich Maria Remarque and Errol Flynn.
One of Vélez's more publicized relationships was with actor Gary Cooper. Vélez met Cooper during the filming of The Wolf Song and began a two-year affair with him. Two years of very intense relationship summarized in a quote from Marlene Dietrich: Gary is completely controlled by Lupe. It was he who helped pay for her new mansion in Beverly Hills, where they lived together for some months and where she lived until her death.
Her relationship with Gary was passionate but often stormy. On one occasion, she was about to rip his ear off at a train station in Los Angeles as he prepared to flee from her uncontrollable rage. Irrepressible, she was taken into police custody when a police patrol spotted Lupe performing oral sex on Gary in his car in a park. The torrid affair was eventually ended, influenced in part by Cooper's mother. Cooper's mother had long opposed Lupe's involvement with her son and Cooper was unwilling to disobey his mother's wishes. One day Vélez began a fierce argument with Mrs. Cooper in which Vélez stated: Stay with your child. I have plenty of men. According to several biographers, Cooper was the great love of her life. The affair with Gary Cooper almost ended tragically on several occasions. On one occasion Lupe slashed him with a knife, which she always kept with her, and on another she shot at his head but the bullet caught on the station platform as Cooper was trying to escape from her to New York. Fortunately, Cooper was able to escape the ordeal unharmed. 
For Velez the breakup with Gary Cooper was a terrible blow. She tried to forget him with the help of narcotics and the comfort of new lovers. It is likely that Lupe's bitter break-up influenced her to marry Johnny Weissmuller in 1933. However, this new marriage would be equally troubled. Misunderstandings and jealousy culminated in domestic violence between Vélez and Weissmuller. During the filming of Tarzan, makeup artists had to disguise several bruises and scratches.
Lupe returned to her country to film La Zandunga with Arturo de Córdova, a seductive actor that fascinated the female audience of his country, including Lupe. She fell in love and de Cordova reciprocated, despite being married with four children. Their relationship was complex because he wanted to preserve his reputation and he dreaded the scandal that divorce would bring. The separation of Vélez and Weissmuller was signed in 1939.
Some thought she was a traditional woman who wanted to marry for life and have children. She did her best to have de Córdova leave his wife. De Córdova's wife was humiliated that her private life was exposed and refused to grant her husband a divorce. 
In 1944 she met a young Austrian actor named Harald Maresch, who was trying to start an acting career in Hollywood under the name Harald Ramond. Maresch acted with de Córdova in Frenchman's Creek. Vélez recommended him to some producers. During this time she fell in love with Harald and asked him to marry her. Harald agreed, but only for convenience. In September, Vélez discovered she was four months pregnant. In December 1944, when it became known that Vélez would marry Ramond, Francesca Vitiner, a woman who had been with Maresch, sued him for breach of promise. Vélez realized that Maresch was not the inexperienced young man whom she had protected.
A popular belief is that, unable to face the shame of giving birth to a child out of wedlock, Vélez decided to take her own life. Another version has it that she was expecting a son fathered by De Córdova. As he could not divorce and the Catholic roots of both discounted abortion as an option, she looked for a man who would marry her: Maresch. Supposedly, Vélez later found De Córdova, whose bisexuality had always been a taboo subject, in his apartment one day in bed with Maresch. Disappointment with both men allegedly led her to suicide.
Yet another version was provided by the journalist Robert Slatzer. This account names Gary Cooper as the father of Vélez's baby. Slatzer interviewed Cooper's ex-lover, the actress Clara Bow, who revealed that Cooper called her in a state of great shock, crying and screaming that he was going to kill Maresch for impregnating her. Bow however claimed she never believed the baby was fathered by Maresch, and that she was convinced that Vélez called Ramond to protect Cooper.
Her suicide note read:
"To Harald: May God forgive you and forgive me, too; but I prefer to take my life away and our baby's, before I bring him with shame, or kill him.
The last day of her life, she breakfasted with Bruce Cabot and Errol Flynn, and dined with her two best friends, Estelle Taylor and Benita Oakie, on Mexican food, drank brandy, smoked and spent a good evening. She retired to bed after taking an overdose of sleeping pills; specifically, she swallowed 80 Seconal pills. According to newspaper accounts at the time, her body was found by her secretary and companion of ten years, Beulah Kinder, on her bed surrounded by flowers, as she had wished. In a Huffington Post report on May 24, 2013, however, the first ever photo of the scene of Lupe's death was published, showing how she was found by police: on the floor, not on her bed.
There is skepticism surrounding whether it was simply the shame of bearing a child out of wedlock that led Vélez to end her life. Throughout her life, she showed signs of extreme emotion, mania and depression. Consequently, some biographers have suggested that Vélez suffered from bipolar disorder, which, left untreated, ultimately led to her suicide. Rosa-Linda Fregoso writes that Vélez was known for her defiance of contemporary moral convention, and it seems unlikely that she could not have reconciled an "illegitimate child."
At the time of her death, Lupe Vélez was extremely popular with the public, exemplified by the more than 4,000 people who filed past her casket during funeral services in Glendale, California. Later, in services in Mexico City, thousands more attended to give a final farewell, including renowned actors such as Cantinflas, Jorge Negrete and María Félix. Johnny Weissmuller joined actors Arturo de Córdova and Gilbert Roland to act as pallbearers.
Lupe Vélez was buried in the Panteón de Dolores, in the Tacubaya section of Mexico City, in a walled section within the walled cemetery, reserved for artists and administered by the Mexico's National Association of Actors.
Marilyn Monroe once told a journalist who asked about her first encounter with the cinema:
My mother worked in the RKO film studios and sometimes took me with her. Here I first saw Lupe Vélez, a Mexican girl that was all the rage, whose appearance and physical character fascinated me. Then my dream was to be, someday, someone like her.
References in popular culture
- Kenneth Anger in his book Hollywood Babylon (1959) gave his version of the night of the Vélez's death, claiming that she was found dead with her head in the toilet, drowned in her own vomit after ingesting the lethal dose of Seconal in bed after a spicy Mexican meal that reacted with it violently, rising to avoid soiling her bedroom. For a long time, many people took this story as truth, despite no evidence to verify it.
- In a poll of Mexican filmgoers, actresses Marquita Rivera and Amalia Aguilar were chosen to star in a Hollywood film based on the life of the actress. However, due to the controversy over Vélez's suicide at that time, the film was never produced.
- Andy Warhol's underground film, Lupe (1965), starring Edie Sedgwick as Vélez, is loosely based on the night of her suicide. The film suggests that Vélez was found with her head in the toilet due to nausea caused by the overdose.
- In the first episode of the sitcom Frasier, "The Good Son", Frasier Crane's producer Roz Doyle tries to improve Frasier's outlook on his life by telling him the story of Lupe Vélez, "last seen with her head in the toilet". Apparently (according to Roz), the pills she had taken did not mix well with "the enchilada combo plate she sadly chose as her last meal." When Frasier asks how her story is supposed to make him feel better, Roz responds that sometimes things don't go the way we want them to, but can work out in the end, anyway. She adds, "All she wanted was to be remembered. Will you ever forget that story?".
- She was mentioned in The Simpsons episode titled "Homer's Phobia". Guest star John Waters gave the Simpson family, sans Homer, a driving tour of Springfield's shopping district, where he pointed out the store where reportedly Vélez bought the toilet she drowned in.
- In Robert Stone's novel Children of Light, a troubled actress refers to a suicide-by-drowning scene she has just acted out as "Lupe Vélez takes a dunk."
- She is mentioned in the Michael Chabon novel The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, as well as the 2000 film Wonder Boys, adapted from the Chabon novel of the same name.
- In 2009 the Mexican film director Martín Caballero made the short film Forever Lupe based on the life of Vélez. Mexican actress Marieli Romo played the role of Vélez in the film.
- The Mexican director Carlos Carrera reportedly was preparing to film the life of Lupe Vélez in a Mexican-American production. Mexican actress Ana de la Reguera was chosen to interpret Velez in the film.
- Vélez is played by the Cuban-Venezuelan actress María Conchita Alonso in the movie Return to Babylon in 2014.
- SOMOS (1999), p. 19
- Revista Somos: Katy Jurado:Estrella de Hollywood orgullosamente mexicana: Latinas en Hollywood. Editorial Televisa S.A de C.V. 1999. p. 86.
- María Conesa "La Gatita Blanca" entrevistada por Guillermo Pérez Verduzco parte 6
- SOMOS (1999), p. 85
- La Historia Detras del Mito: Lupe Vélez part. 1/4 TV Azteca, México on YouTube
- Myths and Recidivism: The Poets Loves Lupe Vélez
- SOMOS (1999), p. 86
- Ramírez, Gabriel 1986
- In honor of the 22nd Chicago Latino Film Festival, 2006: Lupe Vélez
- Clara Rodriguez, Heroes, Lovers, and Others: The Story of Latinos in Hollywood
- Elizabeth Jameson, Writing the Range: Race, Class, and Culture in the Women's West
- Mexican Silent Cinema: Lupe Vélez on Broadway
- SOMOS (1999), p. 87
- Moreno (2002), p. 168
-  History on Film: Actors: Gary Cooper
- Revista Vanidades de México: Año 46 no. 12 Marlene Dietrich. Editorial Televisa S.A de C.V. 2006. p. 141. ISSN 1665-7519.
- Ramírez (1986), p. 35, 63
- Austin (2012), p. 112
- Carolyn Roos Olsen & Marylin Hudson, Hollywood's Man Who Worried for the Stars: The Story of Bö Roos
- Vogel (2012), p. 158
- Ruiz & Korrol (2006), p. 793
- MujerHoy: Lupe Vélez, as she died?
- What? This makes no sense.
- Lupe Velez wanted to die beautifully
- Who is this?
- La Historia Detras del Mito: Lupe Vélez part 4/4 TV Azteca, México on YouTube
- Ramírez (1986), p.
- Vogel (2012), p. 160-161
- Austin (2012), p. 187
- El Siglo de Torreón: Deja el mundo la actriz Lupe Vélez
- "Biography for Lupe Velez". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved 19 April 2009.
- King, Susan; "Maker of Smiles"; Los Angeles Times, August 13, 2012; page D3.
- Fregoso, Rosa-Linda. (2007) Lupe Velez: Queen of the B's. In Myra Mendible (ed.) From Bananas to Buttocks: The Latina Body in Popular Film and Culture. Austin University of Texas Press.
- Agrasánchez Jr. (2001), p. 26
- Loaeza (2011), p. 149
- The Frasier Files: Transcripts – 1.1 The Good Son
-  "Homer's Phobia" in The Simpsons Archive
- Ana de la Reguera will play Lupe Vélez
- Ramírez, Gabriel (1986). Lupe Vélez: La Mexicana que escupía fuego. Cineteca Nacional. ISBN 968-805-416-X.
- Floyd, Conner (1993). Lupe Vélez and Her Lovers. Barricade Books. ISBN 978-0-942637-96-0.
- Austin, John (1994). Hollywood's Babylon Women. Shapolsky Publicers, Inc. ISBN 1-56171-257-4.
- Corona, Moises (1996). Lupe Velez, a medio siglo de ausencia. EDAMEX. ISBN 968-409-872-3.
- E. Fey, Ingrid., Racine, Karen (2000). Strange Pilgrimages: Exile, Travel, and National Identity in Latin America, 1800-1990s: "So Far from God, So Close to Hollywood: Dolores del Río and Lupe Vélez in Hollywood, 1925-1944,". Wilmington, Delaware, Scholarly Resources. ISBN 0-8420-2694-0.
- Agrasánchez Jr., Rogelio (2001). Bellezas del cine mexicano/Beauties of Mexican Cinema. Archivo Fílmico Agrasánchez. ISBN 968-5077-11-8.
- Moreno., Luis (2002). Rostros e Imagenes. Editorial Celuloide. ISBN 9789709338904.
- Revista Somos: Katy Jurado:Estrella de Hollywood orgullosamente mexicana: Latinas en Hollywood. Editorial Televisa S.A de C.V. 1999. pp. 85–86.
- Ruíz, Vicki; Sánchez Korrol, Virginia (2006). Latinas in the United States: A Historical Encyclopedia, Volume 1 1. Indiana University Press. ISBN 0-253-34681-9.
- Solórzano, Enrique (2007). Entre la luz y el silencio: Lupe Vélez y su tiempo. Editorial Cabos Sueltos.
- Nericcio, William (2007). Tex[t]-Mex: Seductive Hallucination of the "Mexican" in America. University of Texas Press. ISBN 978-0292714571.
- Loaeza., Guadalupe (2011). La puerta falsa: de suicidios, suicidas y otras despedidas... Editorial Oceano. ISBN 9789709338904.
- Vogel, Michelle (2012). Lupe Velez : The Life and Career of Hollywood's Mexican Spitfire. McFarland. ISBN 9786074007954.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Lupe Velez.|
- Lupe Vélez at the Internet Movie Database
- Lupe Vélez at the Internet Broadway Database
- Lupe Vélez at the TCM Movie Database
- Lupe Vélez at AllMovie
- Did Lupe Vélez Really Drown in the Toilet? at straightdope.com
- Lupe Vélez as an infant in 1908 (University of Washington, Sayre Collection)